Monday, November 23, 2015

Thrive in the Expectation Economy: The Most Exciting and Urgent Trends of 2016 and Beyond

TMRE Keynote Presentation

Thrive in the Expectation Economy: The Most Exciting and Urgent Trends of 2016 and Beyond
 Maxwell Luthy, Director of Trends and Insight, TRENDWATCHING

Why track consumer trends?

To have a future vision and create products or services two to five years from now.

The first component of every trend is change: social change, technological change, environmental change, and economic change.  Yet, basic human needs do not change, including relationships, community, and survival.

The second component of every trends is innovation. The first example was Uber—and how quickly consumers change their habits to adapt to the app and service.

The third component is emerging expectations. Expectations transfer. One-touch service for amazon, created one touch for Uber, and even go to tender. This is an economy of expectations. It impacts all of your customers.

The good news is tracking Trends helps you surpass the Expectation Economy.

1st key thought: See technology through a lens of basic human needs and wants, not from the tech buzz.

2nd key thought: Explore the sharing economy. Cars. Umbrella.

3rd key thought: Who do people feel where they are? People are impatient. What are all the consumer touch points? You can study the Domino’s Everywhere campaign. So, how do you get to contextual omnichannel? Consider the use of emoji to understand customer behavior. Think of new channels—for example, Spotify’s partnership with Uber. Challenge yourself to think about new context and channels.

4th key thought: A compelling brand is still about feelings. Have you explored two-way transparency between brands and people? Uber rates passengers. In 2016 expect to see more brands rating customers.

Can you use two-way rating and transparency for all involved. Brand transparency is more important than ever. You must prove you have a healthy corporate culture—and show the world an inside out view of your company. People want to like companies and how they treat their employees.

Ask yourself which aspect of you company culture would you put up on a billboard?

5th key thought: Consumers aren’t behaving as they should. Roles are reversed. More women over 18 are gamers compared to boys. People break all the demographic behavioral patterns we used to hold as sacred. Why? We have the global brain. We’ve been urbanized. Lastly, we have cheap digital experimentation. These three forces shatter all of our expectations of how people should behave according to gender, age, and class roles.

We are seeing heritage heresy: Playboy is excluding nude photos. Harley Davidson is planning 35,000 trees. As cultures shift, brands must adapt their ethos.

The outcome: treat different people differently. Use taste-led targeting, like Spotify. Fine tune to individual preference.

Michael Graber is the managing partner of the Southern Growth Studio, an innovation and strategic growth firm based in Memphis, TN. Visit to learn more.

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